Sunday, October 25, 2009

Singapore wins Ho Chi Minh International Tournament

A 2-2 draw with hosts and Asean champions Vietnam was enough for Singapore to emerge victorious in the Ho Chi Minh International Tournament.

Shahril Ishak captained the country for the first time on his 71st appearance in the absence of the suspended Noh Rahman. With two wins under the Lions' belts, they only needed a draw to win the tournament outright following Vietnam's 2-0 defeat to the Korean University Selection Team on Matchday 2.

The hosts were to draw first blood after 18 minutes when Nguyen Quang Hai was put through and he confidently lifted his effort beyond Lionel Lewis.

The lead was to last barely eight minutes. Aleksandar Duric's scored his third goal of the tournament when he reacted fastest to Rosman Sulaiman's low hard cross into the box to toe-poke home from close range. It was his eighth goal for the Lions in 18 appearances.

Duric should have made it 2-1 seconds after the break but he sent substitute Fazrul Nawaz's tentalising centre over the bar from just in front of goal.

Five minutes later, Fazrul would then capitalise on a good spell for Singapore to give the Lions the lead when he reacted fastest to smash the ball into the far corner from outside the box with his weaker left foot.

Just when it seemed Singapore would cruise to victory, that was denied when goalkeeper Lionel Lewis conceded a penalty six minutes from time.

Vu Nhu Thanh smashed home the spot kick and despite some frantic pressure from the home side, Singapore were well worth the point, the US$20,000 prize and another piece of silverware for the trophy cabinet.

Duric was also named the Man-of-the-Match and Player of the Tournament.

Ho Chi Minh City International Tournament
Singapore 2-2 Vietnam

Scorer - Aleksandar Duric 26’, Fazrul Nawaz 51'

Singapore: Lionel Lewis (gk), Rosman Sulaiman, Precious Emeujeraye, Daniel Bennett, Shaiful Esah (Juma'at Jantan 69'), Itimi Dickson (Fazrul Nawaz 18'), Hariss Harun, John Wilkinson, Shahril Ishak (captain)(Isa Halim 86'), Khairul Amri (Tengku Mushadad 75') and Aleksandar Duric

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